Sophia taught me about discernment practice a while back when I was still very much obsessed with my ex two years after our breakup. I did this discernment practice daily for six months, and it worked! I came to a neutral place with my feelings about that person and came into way more alignment with feeling good in general.
When going through a breakup or relationship change, you might think something along the lines of, “If only this person would act the way I want them to act, then I could get some relief and feel better!”
Discernment practice reminds us that no one else is responsible for our vibrational alignment.
Whatever is coming up for us has nothing to do at the core with another person but everything to do with misalignment to our own inner being / higher self / Source / God. Discernment practice allows us to set up energetic boundaries that let us to engage more fully with our present lives and make space for our futures to show up as positive feeling manifestations.
For all my friends who’ve been asking, here are the nuts and bolts of discernment practice.
Part one of discernment practice:
Whenever you think of your person, say the following affirmative direction to yourself:
“Whatever is coming up right now has nothing to do with [ your person’s name ] the human. Whatever is coming up right now is 100% about my own learning on my journey. I honor my eternal soul connection with [ person’s name ] higher self once a month on the full moon.”
Feel free to substitute the full moon for the new moon or the first of the month. Just keep the choice consistent in your statement.
Anytime you think of your person, repeat the above prayer.
You might get to say this to yourself every ten minutes. Maybe you just think of your person a few times a day. Neat. Say the discernment prayer whenever this person crosses your mind.
And then get on with your life.
What’s actually happening right now? Pay attention to that. Look down at your hands and make a new memory of this present moment. Are you with another human being right now? Look her in the eye, breathe, and listen to what she’s saying to you.
Be here now, baby.
Great, that’s part one of discernment practice. You can do that over and over and over again. There’s not a limit to the number of times you can do that part of this adventure. Discernment practice is definitely a one day at a time endeavor, and often a one hour at a time focus.
Part two of discernment practice:
Honor your eternal soul connection with your person on the full moon (or new moon or first of the month or whatever day you have been announcing to yourself during your daily / hourly / momentary practice).
On the day of your designated monthly practice, show up for yourself for real.
Here are some notes from my varried experiences on monthly discernment practice day:
- It’s always different. There’s not a “right way” or “wrong way” to honor your eternal and unconditionally loving connection to this other being. Sometimes my practice is a reluctant ten minute mediation. Sometimes it’s a multi hour ritual adventure with a spiritual friend who supports my discernment practice.
- You can do anything you want. I’ve written unsent letters, gone to bathhouses, floated, burned herbs, cried, laughed, looked at photos, given myself Reiki sessions and allowed my mind to wander, I’ve played with crystals the person has given to me, I’ve had one song dance parties, I’ve scheduled bodywork with practitioners I trust. Pause to ask your inner guidance system what the right honoring practice will be for you on that day, and then take that good orderly direction.
- It’s safe to feel your feelings. It’s okay to feel sad, it’s okay to feel hopeful, it’s okay to feel nostalgic, fearful, angry, silly, uncomfortable, relieved, and any other feeling that arrises. Whatever comes up, I hope you’ll show yourself more love, not less.
- Often I have to laugh at myself on my monthly discernment day. All month long I’m saying this affirmative prayer, interrupting thoughts about someone I like a lot who I don’t talk to who I want to talk to, and then the full moon comes around and I’m kind of like, “Meh, I don’t really want to do this.” I just have to compassionately see the humor in where I’m at on the path. I have full permission to bask in cosmic-other-person-focussed-love on this special once a month day, and I’m not always excited to engage. That’s okay. It’s all okay. And I do it anyhow, because that’s the agreement I’ve made with myself and the practice of discernment.
Why does discernment practice work?
Discernment practice works for a few reasons.
1. If you’re disciplined about this invitation, your focus will shift from obsession with the other person to presence with yourself. You literally have zero control over another person’s choices and behavior. You know what you do have influence over? Your own choices and behavior. This realization can bring enormous relief.
2. It’s normal to think about someone who you love when they are no longer present in your life. Since we’re shifting from delusional and exhausting obsession about that person so you can move towards being present in your actual life that’s happening right now, knowing that there is a once a month time to party it up with your great big beautiful love in some kind of honoring energetic practice can feel very comforting.
3. We’re not craving another person. We’re craving feeling aligned with Source / Life / God / The Flow / The Universe. I might have past memories of that person helping me to feel aligned with Source, which is great. However, coming to realize that what I’m deeply desiring when recalling that person in hindsight is alignment with Source is such a gift. That leads to the next reason why discernment works.
4. Once there’s a realization that you’re jonesing for alignment with Source, you can lean into some more alignment with Source! As mentioned before, we don’t have jurisdiction over other people but we do have some jurisdiction over ourselves.
Get into action.
Call a friend, make some art, go exercise, do your work, take a nap, have a snack, drink some water, meditate, help someone else.
Show up to your life, it’s happening right now.
If you’re going through a relationship change or still not “over” a break up from a while ago, get some relief by committing to discernment practice so you can learn how to be here now for real.